Well, this is Diane again. Rachel will be back but for now it is important for her to save her energy for getting better. I will do my best to give you a basic update for the last week, I am sorry that I do not share the same wit and humor as Rach. As you know Rachel has been on a high dose of steroids for some time and we are now nearing the end, we are down to 3 mg a day as of today. This is something to be excited about. We are getting close to the mark where there should be little or no side effects and once the the residual side effects go away things will improve. We want you to know that Rachel is physically strong and spiritually strong but struggling in the emotional realm. This is a temporary state but very natural for anyone in her situation- teenager with a bad case of drug induced acne (this would be difficult for me as an adult), difficulty getting and staying asleep (not many can function on 1 or less hours of sleep for extended nights) water retention, messing with hormones (anyone of these would be difficult in and of itself but add them all together and it becomes a real challenge). Rachel is just very tired and numb right now and knows what she wants to say but has a hard time communicating it and it is frustrating.
As you can see Rachel and I did travel home over the last weekend but tried to keep it quiet so that she could still get the much needed rest that her body lacks so we hope that no one felt left out of the loop. She was really happy to sleep in her own bed and see her Dad, sisters and a few very close friends (wanted to see many more and regrets that she wasn't up to it). As her parents we also knew that her physical and emotional health needed to be closely guarded so that her treatments could continue to reduce her tumor for the best overall outcome. Rachel was disappointed that she didn't feel like attending the game and the Homecoming Dance that we went home for but was grateful for others understanding.
Yesterday our day began at 10:00 am and we finally were able to get back to our room at 5:00pm. Some days are just long like that. When we returned to the Ronald McDonald house they were offering free hair cuts from Super Cuts. I guess they come in one day a month and different stylists throughout the city take their time volunteering, how great are they! Shout out to Super Cuts of Memphis and all of the stylists who make it happen. I actually wanted to get my haircut when I was home but didn't get around to it so I was grateful for this opportunity. While I was getting my hair cut Rachel sat and visited with Patience, a darling young girl who is also battling cancer. Rachel stayed to keep Patience company while her mother also received a haircut. Later we played Bingo and Rachel gave her winning ticket to another part time resident, Scarlett so that she could claim a prize. (We have come to know that Scarlett is the little girl from the clinic that Rachel shared her iPad with when she was crying).
Today is day 16 of 30 radiation treatments, more than half way. Exciting day.
So glad to read an update. Rachel has such a sweet sweet heart. So thankful for her example. And bless your heart, Diane. Praying for both of you.ReplyDelete
Keeping you r family's name in the IF White House. Talked with Devin tonight, sounds like he is ready to come home. We think of you two there all the time. Va con Dios. tcReplyDelete
Thank you for the update Diane. Glad to hear it filled with so many positive things. I know the pendulum swings both ways, but grateful for her and for yourself to have each joy and tender mercy! Love you both!ReplyDelete
So glad to hear an update. Kylee loved seeing Rachel and we continue to pray for you all. You are both amazing and such great examples. Keep it up...we're all pulling for you!ReplyDelete
Diane, thanks for the update. We love your family and pray for you and Rachel every day!ReplyDelete
I wish there was something more we all could be doing as well as praying. Every parent has imagined themselves there in your place and it's amazing to see your strength and your wisdom. Thanks for letting us all hear what's going on.ReplyDelete
Thank you for the update!! Here I am in California! Praying for Rachel everyday! I'm a mom of 3 young girls. I can't imagine how hard this must way on your heart! Such balancing to keep Rachel strong and peaceful! I have a feeling when Rachel completes her treatment she will do great things!!ReplyDelete
Rachel looks so beautiful!!! Rachel is one of Courtney's favorite people, and Courtney was thrilled to vote for Rach, and super excited that Rachel won homecoming queen. Pam did a great job on the dress. Love you all lots and lots. Thank you for the updates. Lots of hugs and kisses.ReplyDelete
Diane, Thanks for taking the time to update all of us who love Rachel. There has never been a more beautiful homecoming queen! (and her date is cute too)Our family continues to keep Rachel and YOU and your entire family as well as her doctors in our prayers. Stay Strong! You are loved by soooo many!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Diane. I thought abou you all day today and was getting really worried. Glad to get an update and to see that you are both hanging in there.ReplyDelete
Thank you for the update. We sure think about and pray for you and your family! We sure wish there was more we could do. Love, Mike & Emily DixonReplyDelete
congratulations on becoming homecoming queen! you look gorgeous! <3ReplyDelete
Yahoo!!!! Thanks so much for the update! I am so glad that you guys got to go home for a little break, nothing like being in your own house and your own bed for a few days. Rachel you looked so darling as Homecoming Queen, that is so awesome! I'm sorry for all of the side effects of the medication, with all of that going on it must feel like you've got 17 satellite dishes all circling around at different speeds and in opposite directions searching for a signal, on an AM radio... (I feel like that when I really need a Pepsi!..LOL) So glad that you are more than 1/2 way done with your radiation treatments! I hope you can get some good sleep, the kind where you wake up and stretch and pull funny faces and turn into a contortionist with every muscle in your body. Keep that chin up and give each other a big hug from me... Lots of Prayers..DeniseReplyDelete
Hello Rachel (and Diane!). I have randomly stumbled across your blog and your positivity and light has given me strength. I am going through a rough time (I just suffered a miscarriage) and I am devastated. But seeing y'all staying positive despite the circumstances has helped me see that maybe I can still be positive, too. Rachel, I am 100% empathetic about you struggling with the emotional realm, I'm right there with you! Hormones aren't fun. Sometimes we just have to let ourselves be disheartened for a little bit. God bless you and your family, my prayers are with you. Thank you for sharing your journey.ReplyDelete
What a beautiful homecoming queen!ReplyDelete
Thank you for the update, I check everyday to see if there is something new missing! I'm sure it was nice for you both to be home, even if it was for a short period of time. Rachel looks so beautiful!!! she is definately a queen, in everyone's eyes - that's for sure. Pam is so talented, the dress is perfect! I can't even imagine going through all those side effects, it would take a huge toll on anyone. Rachel is so strong and I pray she keeps her chin up and that she will start feeling better (emotionally and physically) Prayers coming your way.ReplyDelete
I stumbled upon your blog and thought twice about posting this, as I wouldn't want to stir up any more commotion than you are already going through. However, if I were in your situation I would want to have the following information:ReplyDelete
Whatever your options are and whatever choiches you make, I wish you good faith and success!
Rach and Dianne - you are wonderful people. It was such a joy to hear about Rachel becoming homecoming queen. I don't think Rachel realizes that did not come just because people felt sorry for her, but rather for her strength in body and spirit. Her light is felt to everyone. (And the homecoming pictures are very nice!)ReplyDelete
God bless you all! We'll keep praying for you, you keep giving us periodic updates.
Rachel I wish you all the best, God bless you!ReplyDelete
Greeting from Germany :)
You look so beautif! I understand that being overwhelmed is underrated, just concentrate on those things that help you personally and for a split second remember that we all are praying/pulling/cheering and loving you.ReplyDelete
Step by step. Rachel - I am so proud of you for continuing. I'm sure there are days when it would be easier to just quit, but you keep making all those little decisions every day to continue treatment, to continue being kind (bingo cards and ipads) to everyone you meet, to continue in your faith. Those little decisions make all the difference in cancer and in life. You have DONE hard things, are DOING hard things, and will DO many more hard things. And you CAN! Good thing you were born so stubborn! :) Lots and lots and lots of love to you and Jordyn and Diane.ReplyDelete
Rachel - you are awesome! I think you are amazing and your Mom rocks. Each day our family prays for you. I know that you are strong. It is so amazing to see an entire school supporting you. Lauren misses you. It sounds like you are meeting a lot of amazing people. Keep smiling. We all love you!ReplyDelete
what a beautiful homecoming queen!! you are awesome!ReplyDelete
Hi, I pretty much stumbled upon your blog from CGH on youtube just now. I am so impressed by your almost always positive attitude towards the fight against the cancer and I pray for you and your family to stay strong in faith and positive throughout your every day life throughout the time of treatment in st. judes. I just wanted to let you (and your family) know, that even in Germany people are praying for you. Stay strong, stay positive. Keep your positive attitude. You are beautiful inside and out. You can do this, the Lord has a plan for you.ReplyDelete
congrats Rachel! You are beautiful!ReplyDelete
Lemon drops will put hair on your chest! Come to think of it, They haven't put much on my chest, or my legs for that matter. Uncle TReplyDelete